The Forgotten


Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 34
  2. Negative: 8 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. It struck me as the most exciting and original Hollywood thriller, occult or otherwise, since "The Sixth Sense."
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Turns out to be a grade-A B-movie that grounds its thrills in particulars of time, place, and character, so that when the time comes to make the leap into the wholly preposterous, we do so willingly. This is a movie that earns our trust -- and then happily abuses it.
  3. This is a movie that earns its suspense and validates its emotions, especially its examination of the bond between mother and child.
  4. 70
    Midway through, the plot pulls itself out of its doldrums with a sudden, heart-twisting turn. Ruben still knows how to cut a sequence for maximum jolt, and, ultimately, he and DiPego manage to summon up some of the B-movie paranoia that fueled "The Stepfather," turning in a pleasantly nonsensical roller-coaster ride.
  5. 63
    The stylish and imaginative imagery in director Joseph Ruben's film, not to mention the parapsychological twists and mysteries, evoke the work of director M. Night Shyamalan.
  6. 60
    Begins as a perfectly reasonable thriller and ends up rather an inane one.
  7. 60
    Outlandish but gripping paranoid thriller.
  8. A thriller of carefully cultivated murk. It's enigmatic in the worst sense, in that every explanation for what's going on holds less water than the last.
  9. Ultimately only Moore, with her eyes always half-damp and voice half-cracked and body language half-mad, keeps the movie on the ground, when it too often threatens to fly into the thin air, where the audience would laugh it off the screen.
  10. Sustains a few icy chills, but a mix of genres muddles the story.
  11. 50
    This could easily go down as the year's best example of solid acting in a wretched motion picture.
  12. By the self-contradictory and ludicrous end, I had the mixed satisfaction of being proved right in my disappointment. (Di Pego wrote the equally silly "Instinct" and "Angel Eyes," so I can't say I was surprised.)
  13. 50
    The ending of The Forgotten leaves you feeling the same way, wondering just how much -- if anything -- of what came before actually happened.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    A spare, streamlined thriller for the conspiracy-minded, Area 51 crowd, The Forgotten perhaps wisely leaves more questions than it answers and for the most part manages to maintain its suspense.
  15. It's really weird. Has its share of visceral surprises. Slightly predictable and dumb when all is said and done.
  16. Director Joseph Ruben's best efforts can't keep Gerald Di Pego's puzzle-picture script from toppling into absurdity as it lurches from melodrama to psychological thriller with supernatural overtones to full-blown exercise in X-Files-style nuttiness.
  17. 50
    The Forgotten is not a good movie, but at least it supplies a credible victim (Moore).
  18. There is nothing worse than a thriller that doesn't play fair... The Forgotten is just a big, fat, obvious cheater.
  19. The picture never comes out from under the weight of its dreariness, despite fine acting, foot chases and conspiracy theories galore.
  20. 50
    The movie works reasonably well at this for its first half, but by then we've pretty much figured everything out.
  21. 50
    An uneasy mix between "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and the "The X-Files," and one not nearly as smart as either.
  22. 40
    The resolution is as surprise-free as it is improbably sunny.
  23. Such unabashed ludicrousness can be fun, in a brainless sort of way, especially when it's coupled with lots of sudden defibrillator jolts underscored by crashing cymbals. If there's one thing The Forgotten has, it's plenty of cardiac moments.
  24. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    It's poppycock, but well directed: Ruben delivers two or three guaranteed jolts, which almost make up for the copout of an ending.
  25. 40
    There isn't much here any semi-regular viewer of "The X-Files" hasn't already seen a dozen times before.
  26. Reviewed by: Will Lawrence
    A premise neutered by daft supernatural shenanigans, which raise as many questions as they answer.
  27. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    All this dreary movie has is a terrible whodunit payoff.
  28. 38
    The worst crime perpetrated in the Swiss-cheese screenplay by Gerald Di Pego ("Angel Eyes") is the cynical use of a mother's love for her child as a plot device for an intelligence-insulting sci-fi dud.
  29. The last act, when the movie falls apart like a cheap toy, is both a deus ex machina and an anticlimax.
  30. In the preposterous thriller The Forgotten, a pseudospiritual, mumbo-jumbo, science-fiction inflected mess, the director Joseph Ruben does not just fail to tap into Ms. Moore's talent; he barely gets her attention.
  31. My favorite line from the movie: "The god---- truth won't fit in your brain." How's that for cheap gimmicks for getting out of having to make a movie make sense?
  32. 30
    Though it soon devolves into a laughable mess, The Forgotten at least spends its first 10 minutes or so raising provocative questions.
  33. Tedious and incoherent thriller.
  34. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    It's "The Sixth Sense" as nonsense, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" without the sunshine. Or the mind.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 68
  2. Negative: 33 out of 68
  1. Apr 20, 2014
    Is it a good concept? yeah but the result is really boring, gosh,i ****** hate this movie. It's really long for nothing the acting is bad andIs it a good concept? yeah but the result is really boring, gosh,i ****** hate this movie. It's really long for nothing the acting is bad and the result is horribly bad. Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I loved the first half...the pacing especially. The film follows a woman who is grieving over the loss of her son, and then during that process, she's informed that her son didn't exist. The plot progressed nicely and was aided by the solid performances by Julianne Moore and Dominic West. Then there was sudden shift about 3/4's of the way through the film where it just all went downhill. The plot got really confusing, and then the ending was Overall, a decent and entertaining film, but I was slightly disappointed because I thought it had potential. Full Review »
  3. Dec 9, 2011
    The Forgotten starts off splendidly leaving questions unanswered so that suspense builds. Then, we discover the source of the missing childrenThe Forgotten starts off splendidly leaving questions unanswered so that suspense builds. Then, we discover the source of the missing children and the entire story crumbles. This film had the capacity to be a great mystery and psychological thriller with great themes of love, morality, and family, but ultimately, it becomes inane, far fetched, and a laughable farce. Full Review »